Houston Chronicle

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
4.5/5 Marriage Story (2019) Cary Darling The entire cast is rock solid, with Johansson and Driver turning in two of the very best performances of their careers. EDIT
Posted Dec 3, 2019
2.5/5 Queen & Slim (2019) Cary Darling Matsoukas, working from a script by Lena Waithe and story by James Frey, keeps the pace so leisurely over the course of 132 minutes that the story's innate tension slowly seeps away like air in an old balloon. EDIT
Posted Nov 26, 2019
4.5/5 Waves (2019) Cary Darling (Shults) has crafted an emotionally pummeling yet ultimately uplifting work that ranks as one of the year's most unique and individual films. And in a year that has given us "Us," "Parasite," "The Farewell" and "The Irishman," that's saying something. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2019
4/5 Honey Boy (2019) Cary Darling Written by LeBeouf and directed by documentary filmmaker Alma Ha'rel, "Honey Boy" is catharsis as compelling character study. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
4.5/5 The Irishman (2019) Cary Darling It's not going to blast you through the back of the theater... Instead, it's going to engender feelings of sadness and regret amid a renewed appreciation for the director's filmmaking and storytelling prowess. EDIT
Posted Nov 12, 2019
3/5 Last Christmas (2019) Cary Darling "Last Christmas" is that film that fits neatly between spasms of holiday shopping, when you want to just get away from the mall madness for a couple of hours. EDIT
Posted Nov 7, 2019
4.5/5 Better Days (2019) Cary Darling Three years ago, (Derek)Tsang made "Soul Mate," an enchanting tale about female friendship that offered an engrossing look at modern, urban China. Yet that film isn't quite adequate preparation for the emotional wallop of "Better Days." EDIT
Posted Nov 6, 2019
4/5 Jojo Rabbit (2019) Cary Darling Waititi manages to walk the fine line between fantasy and drama, humor and wartime horror without losing his balance. EDIT
Posted Oct 30, 2019
3.5/5 The Kill Team (2019) Cary Darling "The Kill Team" is so skillfully made, sharply paced (it clocks in under 90 minutes), and generally well-acted (Skarsgard in particular) that its flaws are easy to forgive. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2019
4.5/5 Parasite (2019) Cary Darling "Parasite" may be the work that makes (Bong Joon-ho) more of a household name. Many of the best elements from his previous films are on display here, and if there's one film that should serve as an introduction to his style, it's this one. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2019
4.5/5 Dolor y gloria (2019) Cary Darling The quiet, deliberate and slowly building "Pain & Glory" may not have all the exuberant cinematic flourishes for which Almodóvar is known but its power rests in its restraint. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2019
3.5/5 The Dead Center (2018) Cary Darling Director/writer Billy Senese didn't have a ton of money to work with but "The Dead Center" wisely eschews gore and special effects in favor of setting a dark, malevolent mood. EDIT
Posted Oct 10, 2019
3.5/5 First Love (2019) Cary Darling Often darkly funny, "First Love" is also very violent, and it's not just about gunplay. There's a beheading in the movie's first few minutes just to let everyone know, if they've somehow forgotten, that they've walked into a Takashi Miike film. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 Jangsa-ri 9.15 (2019) Cary Darling If director Kwak Kyung-Taek and writers Brian Chung and Cory Gustke have a tendency to fall deep into predictability, the battle scenes make up for it...The trench warfare attack, which comes about 30 minutes in, is close-quarters brutal. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
2/5 Gemini Man (2019) Cary Darling All the cinematic spackle in the world can't disguise the wide cracks in this dull, tired script, no matter how many digital Will Smiths you use. EDIT
Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 The Death of Dick Long (2019) Cary Darling At its best, "The Death of Dick Long" has a similar deadpan appeal and grim humor of "Fargo." There's no wood chipper but what replaces it is equally disturbing. EDIT
Posted Sep 25, 2019
4.5/5 Ad Astra (2019) Cary Darling The slow, deliberate and occasionally suspenseful "Ad Astra" is not an action movie in a traditional sense...Instead, "Ad Astra" is a film that raises pointed questions about our place in the universe and in our families...That's action enough. EDIT
Posted Sep 17, 2019
Tiger Cruise (2004) Mike McDaniel The sobering events of 9/11 give this otherwise typical Disney movie unusual gravity. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Camp Rock (2008) Joey Guerra Camp Rock is exactly what you'd expect it to be: silly, sometimes sweet, occasionally confusing, aggressively perky and brimming with disposable pop songs about being true to yourself. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
4/5 Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) Cary Darling Blending the often frightening surrealism of a child's wild imagination with the blood-splattered realism of the drug cartels, "Tigers Are Not Afraid" is a highly original horror story made for these times. EDIT
Posted Sep 4, 2019
Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly (2019) Joey Guerra The film is another jewel in Scott's grill, a way to neatly contain so much movement and madness. It's a terrific showcase for his unique approach to music and live shows. EDIT
Posted Sep 3, 2019
4/5 The Nightingale (2018) Cary Darling A masterful display of cinematic craft, an astonishing feat considering this is only her second feature, though her first - the eerie and more supernatural "The Babadook" from 2014, also about a woman in serious trouble - showed she was a talent to watch. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
4.5/5 Luce (2019) Cary Darling "Luce" doesn't offer easy answers and, thanks in part to former Portishead linchpin Geoff Barrow's glitchy score, keeps viewers constantly off-balance, like a night of heavy drinking. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Alien (1979) Jeff Millar The filmmakers have come up with some images that are sheerest nightmare. The film earns its shudders honestly: Scott is too talented to need gratuitousness as a aid. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2019
4/5 Blinded by the Light (2019) Cary Darling A celebration of how music can mean so much, especially when it hits you at a vulnerable time in your life. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
2/5 The Kitchen (2019) Cary Darling "The Kitchen" may be based on a graphic novel but it feels more like a cartoon. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
4/5 Them That Follow (2019) Cary Darling In "Them That Follow," the snakes aren't the only things that leave a mark. EDIT
Posted Aug 7, 2019
3/5 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) Cary Darling For those who just want things that go zoom and go boom, "H&S" hits that sweet spot. That won't be enough to convince the "F&F" haters who will groan and scream "cash grab" through every one of the movie's sometimes very long 135 minutes. EDIT
Posted Jul 31, 2019
3.5/5 Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Cary Darling [It] is a rambling love letter to Los Angeles and 1969...But it's a love letter scrawled in pop-culture cool and B-movie blood that turns into a film that, like a guitar solo from the era, may be far too long but is wily and inventive nonetheless. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2019
4.5/5 The Farewell (2019) Cary Darling The story of a wedding held under trying circumstances might not be the type of film that go can toe-to-toe with "Spider-Man: Far from Home" when it comes to total box-office bucks but its very down-to-earth story proves to be its superpower. EDIT
Posted Jul 23, 2019
4/5 The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Cary Darling "The Art of Self-Defense" turns into an often brutal takedown of both toxic masculinity and the willingness of humans of both genders to give up their individuality in service of some greater authority in which they find identity and fellowship. EDIT
Posted Jul 18, 2019
3.5/5 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Cary Darling An entertaining chapter in the life of a maturing Parker...Considering that this is a summer that birthed the woeful "Godzilla: King of the Monsters, that "Far From Home" is more entertaining than a sequel has a right to be is miracle enough. EDIT
Posted Jun 28, 2019
4/5 Buddy (2019) Cary Darling After seeing "Buddy," viewers who have dogs at home probably will want to hug them a little tighter, while those who don't might wish they had. EDIT
Posted Jun 27, 2019
3/5 Yesterday (2019) Cary Darling A pleasant trifle of a rom-com that may feel more like an elevator pitch than a fully formed film but it's just diverting enough to keep from sinking under the weight of its concept. EDIT
Posted Jun 26, 2019
Nightmare Cinema (2018) Jef Rouner Overall, "Nightmare Cinema" is more stomach-turning than truly frightening, but thanks to the obvious love and care put into it, it's worth seeing. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2019
2.5/5 La chute de l'empire Américain (2018) Cary Darling This often well-acted and intriguing blend of caper and commentary comes off as forced and heavy-handed, scoring obvious points without offering anything particularly new. Heck, there's even a hooker with a heart of gold. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2019
3.5/5 Late Night (2019) Cary Darling Playing an imperious Brit who sneers at lesser mortals from a pedestal of "The Devil Wears Prada"-style privilege and power, Thompson crackles with just the right amount of condescension, cruelty and whip-smart comic timing. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2019
4.5/5 The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) Cary Darling The way Talbot blends haunting imagery with a mournful score (by Emile Mosseri) is dreamlike, recalling the work of "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2019
2.5/5 Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch (2019) Cary Darling it's an efficiently made and routine police action-drama that has some effective moments but doesn't add up to anything that hasn't been done many times before. EDIT
Posted Jun 6, 2019
4/5 The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019) Cary Darling Director/writer Lee Won-tae, for whom this is only his second feature, keeps the pace moving swiftly, showing off an energetic sensibility that heralds a new voice on the South Korean film scene. EDIT
Posted Jun 4, 2019
2.5/5 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Cary Darling It's fitting that a film that is so unapologetically conventional and predictable (even by the standards of the genre) ends with the song "Godzilla," a cover of a Blue Oyster Cult track...As with so much of the movie, it has been done before and better. EDIT
Posted May 29, 2019
4/5 John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum (2019) Cary Darling "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" is by far the most entertaining of the series, a film that noisily fits the definition of a summer popcorn movie and makes no pretense of having any higher goals. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
2.5/5 Tolkien (2019) Cary Darling What's left is a kaleidoscope of well-staged episodes - Tolkien on the field of battle surrounded by a circle of dead bodies is harrowing - that often seem more like prettified postcards from midcentury Britain than real-life being lived by real people. EDIT
Posted May 9, 2019
4/5 Shadow (2018) Cary Darling A rapturously beautiful work...combining the exquisite details of Chinese ink-brush painting with the melodramatic extravagance and suspension of disbelief of opera. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2019
3/5 Family (2018) Cary Darling "Family" is rarely laugh-out-loud funny...but it has a good-natured charm, the underutilized presence of Brian Tyree Henry as a martial-arts instructor, and [Taylor] Schilling to make it more memorable than it has a right to be. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
3.5/5 Maze (2017) Cary Darling "Maze" doesn't have much action until the end and even that is fairly muted and low-key compared to what might be expected from a Hollywood movie on the same topic. But that's exactly what makes "Maze" impressive. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2019
3.5/5 Avengers: Endgame (2019) Cary Darling "Endgame" is the most emotional of the Avengers movies, a tear-stained farewell that effectively tugs at the heartstrings while simultaneously blowing them up with a large army's worth of CGI warfare. EDIT
Posted Apr 23, 2019
4.5 Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018) Cary Darling Unlike "Triple Threat," "Master Z" isn't a triple letdown. It's a charming throwback to the martial-arts films of the '70s and '80s, with dazzling combat sequences punctuated by stiffly delivered exposition and hammy acting. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2019
4/5 Us (2019) Cary Darling The chills in "Us" don't come from the gory and the gruesome but, as in Peele's "Get Out," from his playing with the notion that the scariest moments come from inside us. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2019
2.5/5 Triple Threat (2019) Cary Darling "Triple Threat" does not deliver on its kinetic casting promise. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2019